DECIDING on which breed of turkey to buy can be difficult as there are more than people generally realize. The Norfolk Black, the oldest breed originating in the UK, should be coal black all over, with no hint of other color in the feathering.
The majority – if not all – have a bronze edging on the back feathers. This is inherited from the days when Bronze mating was introduced because of the shortage of Norfolk Black bloodlines. This cross breeding took place in America as well as the UK, and to this day if any Norfolk Black was found with no bronzing on whatsoever, it would earn its keep through that very fact alone.
Continue reading Becoming a new turkey owner
Did you know there are more than 200 breeds of chickens? Why do you care? Besides color, plumage pattern, style of comb and wattles — somewhat cosmetic considerations — chicken breeds differ on everything from personality, to broodiness (tendency to sit on eggs to hatch them), to winter hardiness and even egg color!
Plus, some farmers raise them to show, or breed rare varieties to keep them going, or just because they like that particular breed.
Continue reading Choosing Chickens: How to Select Chickens for the Small Farm or Homestead
Everybody learned to cluck by now? Most of you know that chickens don’t speak English, Spanish or Russian. So that means if you want to speak with your chickens, you’re going to have to learn to cluck. No joke. You can call your chickens with certain types of clucking sounds. And you can.
No different than calling your cats or your dogs. So, has everybody got over themselves and learned how to cluck? Good. If you really want to impress your friends, the next time you’re at a social event, just start clucking. And don’t worry, you didn’t ever want to go back there again anyway. And if you really want to impress your friends, put your hands under your arms, start flapping your imaginary wings, raise your knees as high as you can and start walking around the room clucking. Now wasn’t that fun?? Your grandkids will love it. Their parents may think something has happened. And when you get to be my age, who cares?
Continue reading Chicken Housing and Needs
You’re ready for your new flock of hens: you have the coop, feeder and waterer and the chicks are on order. But what do you use for litter on the floor of the chicken coop? Pine shavings, hay, straw, or what? How often do you have to clean it out? And, for urban and suburban homesteaders especially, is it going to smell?
The deep litter method is one sustainable method of managing chicken litter in the chicken coop that many small farmers use. In the deep litter method, you’re basically forming a compost pile of your chicken’s poop right on the floor of the coop. Like a compost pile, you begin with a layer of pine shavings or other organic matter in the “browns” category. The high-nitrogen chicken poop is the “green.”
Continue reading Chicken Litter Management – Deep Litter Method
Would you like to become more self-sufficient, or reduce your environmental footprint Maybe you’d like to teach your children about where food comes from, or the value of caring for animals.
Well, keeping goats might just be for you. Read on and see all the advantages caring for goats can bring.
Fresh, Nutritious Goat Milk
Of course, this has to be the number one reason for keeping goats – a supply of fresh, raw milk.
Raw milk is great for healthy skin, immunity, bone health, brain health, allergy prevention, muscle building and weight loss. If you live in a place that prohibits the sale of raw milk, you can bypass this law by keeping your own goats.
And, goat milk is nutritionally superior to cow milk in terms of its calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A content. It also has a gram more protein per cup and a little less sugar.
Those who are intolerant to cow milk may actually be able to handle goat milk.
Continue reading 20 Reasons Why Keeping Goats Will Change Your Life For The Better
Over the last few years, keeping chickens has been on the upswing. Whether it’s due to families wanting to know where their food is coming from, a desire to be more self-sufficient or merely wanting to experience the sense of satisfaction that comes with going back to the basics, it seems that backyard chickens have become all the rage. But lately I have been reading more and more hints of a new reality: ducks are the new chickens.
Ducks need a place to nest that’s warm and safe from predators. Make sure to include a ramp to the duck house so they can waddle right in.
I have been raising ducks for as long as I have been raising chickens. Over the last several years, I have had ample opportunity to compare chickens and ducks, and I have to agree that ducks may very well be the new chickens. I think there are some distinct advantages to raising ducks that I have come to appreciate.
Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Raising Ducks Might Be Better Than Chickens
Eggs are oval in shape and contain many secrets There are many qualities of eggs which many of us are unaware. There is also the long-asked question which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Here are some interesting and crazy facts about eggs:
Continue reading 7 Crazy Things You Might Not Know About Eggs
Egg layers in and of themselves are a great addition to any homestead, large or small. And is there anything better than fresh eggs? But what if, in addition to the eggs, your chickens could provide an extra hand (or foot, as it were) in your gardening efforts? Taking advantage of their natural desire to forage is a smart way for gardeners to get a little bit of free labor, and the chickens will love it!
Continue reading 5 Ways to Put Your Chickens to Work For You